David Gaughran is one of the few self-publishing experts I follow: I read his blog, I’m on his mailing list, and I’ve got at least a couple of his books on my Kindle. When I do decide to take the plunge into advertising my books,* I’m sure I’ll be using his advice.

* — Any day, now, really. Probably. Maybe.

Last week, he sent out an email updating self-pub authors on some changes with BookBub ads, notably that in their ad creation space, they’re now listing the number of “Readers” an author has, as opposed to the number of “Followers.” Readers are (probably) the people who clicked on an author’s book somewhere along the way, while Followers actually clicked on the link to follow an author and therefore get updates on their posts, reviews, ads and new books. Followers, obviously, are the people who are actually interested while Readers are the people who maybe took a chance on a free book and haven’t read it, didn’t like it, or at the very least, weren’t interested enough to try to remember the author’s name.

Unicorns are the authors who have lots of readers and many fewer followers. They may or may not be a good target for ad creation. I am very, very much a unicorn. An extreme unicorn, in fact. TBH, I find that depressing, but I mention it for the sake of any of my fellow self-publishing readers: if you’re advertising on BookBub, my name might (or might not, who knows?), be a good target for ads. If you give it a try, let me know your results, because I would be curious!

Moving on: I love Tosha Yoga, the yoga studio here in Arcata, so much that I’m already sad about leaving and I’m not planning on leaving for another month. But two days a week of yoga and I can feel myself getting stronger and more centered. And Suzanne, the teacher whose class we’ve sort of settled on (initially mostly out of convenience), is fantastic. We are not the only ones to have figured that out — we’re arriving earlier and earlier to get a spot, because the class gets crowded. Things I love about her classes: she takes the time to teach; she has some challenging sequences, but both encourages you to push and gives you permission to respect your body if pushing is not where you’re at; she has a sense of humor and makes the class fun; and she’s doing that spiritual thing where she offers words of wisdom and you’re like, “Um, was that directed at me?”

On our last class, as we were going in, I was telling S how much I hate writers. In fact I was saying I was going to write a blog post about how much I hate writers. I gave up being an editor in large part because I was so tired of dealing with writers: they’re needy and impractical and obsessive and narcissistic and generally just PITAs. I figured as a therapist, I could work on helping people get over those qualities. Instead I became a writer and now I’m needy and impractical and a PITA. (I was always obsessive; I’m pretty sure I’m still not a narcissist. Could be wrong on that, though, because I don’t think narcissists usually know what they are.) Practically the first thing S, the yoga teacher, said was something about how our culture teaches us to view things as extremes, good or bad, and that in our practice, we were going to try to find the space between acceptance and aversion, and try to simply be where we were instead of rejecting or accepting it. I’m pretty sure she was talking about those moments in yoga where you’re in pain or not in pain, but in that moment it sure felt like she was talking about my writer vs editor grumpiness.

Speaking of which, the writing continues. Not as fast as I’d like it to, and definitely not as coherently. I feel like I’m playing with the pieces of a big colorful jigsaw puzzle — very colorful, very big! But some of the pieces are starting to line up properly. And the characters are starting to take on lives of their own, which can be inconvenient, but can also be fun. A snippet:

“Maybe one of us should go, sir?” Trevvi said. “I—”  He cleared his throat. “I think I speak for all of us when I say that I’d rather not be the one to tell Lady Cyntha that we left you and Lady Gaelith here.”

Fen pressed her lips together to suppress her laugh. She agreed with Trevvi — she didn’t want to face Lady Cyntha either — but the sheepish expression on the big man’s face made him look like a kid who hadn’t done his homework. 

“Sadly, it must be done,” Kaio replied briskly. And then his face relaxed and he gave Trevvi a warm smile. Fen’s stomach fluttered. Damn it, even when she was most annoyed at Kaio, he pushed her buttons. 

Not edited, of course, and no guarantee it will show up in the final version, but while I’m trying to avoid developing a cast of thousands, Trevvi is starting to sneak his way into a speaking role. Without being ultra-spoiler-y, I think I found the ending of the story this weekend and Trevvi was there for it. I was pleased to find the ending, but also like, “Um, you? What are you doing here?” Not a bad thing to be happening, though!

Also in the works, my developing travel plans. I’ve got two more weeks in Arcata, then S and I are going on a road trip to Idaho. One more week in Arcata after that and then north to Washington. I had thoughts of spending some time in Oregon, but I think I’m probably going to make it fairly fast so that I can have more time with friends in Seattle. And then after Memorial Day, I’ll be heading east again. After discovering that I’m already too late to make reservations for the state park I wanted to stay at in Oregon, I am reluctantly realizing that I ought to make some definite arrangements. Flexibility is lovely, but I don’t want to spend the month of June camping in parking lots because I wasn’t organized enough to do better.

First, though, more words with Fen. Happy Monday!

Foggy weather, but spring-time green in the hills.